An evaluation of an Australian initiative designed to improve interdisciplinary collaboration in primary mental health care

Eval Program Plann. 2014 Aug;45:29-41. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


This paper reports on a multi-component evaluation of Australia's Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN). MHPN aims to improve consumer outcomes by fostering a collaborative clinical approach to primary mental health care. MHPN has promoted interdisciplinary communication and networking through activity in three inter-related areas: interdisciplinary workshops supported by education and training materials; fostering ongoing, self-sustained interdisciplinary clinical networks; and a website, web portal (MHPN Online) and a toll-free telephone information line. The evaluation showed that MHPN's workshops were highly successful; almost 1200 workshops were attended by 11,930 individuals from a range of mental health professions. Participants from 81% of these workshops have gone on to join ongoing, interdisciplinary networks of local providers, and MHPN is now supporting these networks in a range of innovative ways to encourage them to become self-sustaining and to improve collaborative care practices.

Keywords: Collaborative care; Interdisciplinary network; Mental health; Primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Social Networking